Enhancing the quality of life for all Queensland communities

Meet our featured engineers!

Seren McKenzie, When the Dam Runs Dry

Seren is the Director Infrastructure and Operations, Townsville City Council. She is a Past President of IPWEAQ (2017-2019)

I wanted to become an engineer because ... I like to understand how things work, how to build things, and how we can make things better.

At school I studied ... science and maths. I originally wanted to become a scientist, but engineering was a bit more exciting for me!

I went to university and studied ... Civil Engineering at the University of Southern Queensland.

What I enjoy most about being an engineer is ... seeing how we can help our communities through our water supplies, our roads, bridges, and parks, and by listening to people.

I encourage people to become engineers because ... you can make a difference and have a fun time learning and creating new things.

Josh Flanders, Walking on Crushed Glass

Josh is the Project Engineer for the Bruce Highway – Cairns Southern Access Corridor – Stage 3 Edmonton to Gordonvale (E2G) Program Delivery & Operations at the Department of Transport and Main Roads. Josh is an IPWEAQ Ambassador.

I wanted to become an engineer because I grew up with a love of challenging myself and solving problems. I also liked looking at big construction machinery.

At school I studied physics, engineering, maths (my favourites) and also chemistry, graphics and English.

I went to university and studied a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) majoring in Civil Engineering at James Cook University (JCU) Townsville.

What I enjoy most about being an engineer is being part of a team with a common goal to complete a project successfully that will benefit the community for many years to come. I also enjoy the everyday tasks of collaborating with other passionate engineers, interpreting and understanding project documentation and developing effective solutions to any problems encountered.

I encourage people to become engineers because you will be challenged, you will use your creativity, and you really can make a difference in the world. 

Clarissa Campbell, If Only Animals Could Talk

Clarissa is a Senior Civil Engineer at HDR ( a design firm specialising in engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services). Clarissa was the winner of the Best Paper award at the 2019 Annual Conference on the subject of this story.

I wanted to become an engineer because ... I really enjoyed the maths and science courses at university that all the engineers were doing, so I decided to change from Education to Engineering

At school I studied ...

Maths B, Maths C, Biology, English, Legal Studies, Graphics.

I went to university and studied Education and Science (to become a teacher) before changing my mind and studying Civil Engineering, both at the University of the Sunshine Coast. The skills I learned from doing maths and graphics are things I use every day.

What I enjoy most about being an engineer is ... how every day can be different, and how I get to do so many different things

I encourage people to become engineers because ... it is a career that allows you to go in any number of directions depending on what you are interested in. Do you want to be the head of a business? Do you want to talk to lots of different people including property owners, businesses, environmental groups, politicians, students? Do you want to work internationally or travel the world while working? Do you want to spend all day on a construction site around construction equipment? Do you want to spend all day in front of a computer using various pieces of software? Or anything in between? Become an engineer!

When I was in primary school I wanted to be … a model (LOL)

When I was in high school I wanted to be … a lawyer

Zoe Elliott-Perkins, Engineering a Reef

Zoe is a Senior Coastal Engineer with the City of Gold Coast. She worked on the award-winning project Palm Beach artificial reef project and was featured in the September issue of Engineering for Public Works. 

I wanted to become an engineer because ... I love the beach and in high school I realised I could have a job that revolved around taking care of coastal environments.  

 At school I studied ...  maths, English, physical education, two science subjects and marine studies (which was by far my favourite subject in high school).

I went to university and studied ... a Bachelor of Engineering in Coastal Engineering at Griffith University on the Gold Coast; and a Master of Literature in Geography which focused on coastal processes at the National University of Ireland Galway. 

What I enjoy most about being an engineer is ... problem solving and using my coastal engineering knowledge to get the best outcomes for coastal communities, especially on the Gold Coast where I grew up. 

I encourage people to become engineers because ...  it's an interesting and fun job that can take you all over the world, and if you become a coastal engineer you know you will always have a job where you get to go to the beach!

Monishaa Prasad, Fighting Floodwaters

Monishaa is Senior Infrastructure Planning Engineer at Rockhampton City Council

I wanted to become an engineer because ... I was fascinated by large structures and the hydro dams I saw when I was in Grade 4 and living in NZ’s South and North Islands. I would look at the roaring turbines, and the walls that would be holding back so much water and wonder how they were built and how they worked.

At school I studied ... Science (Biology and Chemistry), Maths, and English, and studied Art, Legal Studies, and Ancient History for fun. My learning in these subjects does come in handy as my work also involves writing policy, so understanding legal principles helps that. Ancient History was useful, particularly learning how people in Ancient Greece and Rome designed and built their cities with aqueducts and earth drains, wells, and waterways. Art wise, we can learn from ancient societies about how to create the best solutions to everyday problems with a bit of artistic flair! It would be amazing if we could bring more of that to the engineering works of today. 

I went to university and studied … Environmental Engineering at Griffith University

What I enjoy most about being an engineer is ...  being able to help people and make communities liveable, safe, and working at their best, and seeing designs come to life.

I encourage people to become engineers because ... Engineering is a field that helps to solve the many problems in the world, and as engineers, we are constantly changing the world with inventions and solutions that seek to improve everyone's lives. You can look at something and think ‘Can we do it better?’ You can invent something and see the results of your creative thinking come to life and how it is of help to others.  Also, Engineers continue to learn new ways to solve traditional problems every day and there are still many amazing discoveries to be had, and problems to solve! So if you love innovating, and dreaming up of new ways to solve problems for people, and want to make a difference, engineering is for you!

This program received grant funding from the Australian Government’s National Careers Institute.

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Narissa Amies - Illustrator 

Narissa Amies is a 2D animator and illustrator based in Brisbane. She has a Bachelor of Animation from Griffith University and has directed her own award winning short, animated film. Visit her website for more information or @purinnari on Socials.

Juliet Schaffer - Author

Juliet Schaffer was employed by IPWEAQ as its Learning & Assessment Coordinator. She has been a high school and university teacher and has Graduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching from the University of Southern Queensland.  Juliet also has an Honours degree in Professional Writing and Communication from the University of South Australia.

Tom is the only fictional engineer in the series and is a composite of the many engineers who relocated the town of Grantham after the 2011 floods.

Tom's experience highlights the importance of community engagement.